Bitcoin slumps to $35,000 as cryptocurrencies extend steep losses
Cryptocurrencies continued their dramatic slide on Saturday, with bitcoin losing nearly half of its value since hitting its November high.
Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency by market value, tumbled about 8% on Saturday to trade just above $35,000. The coin hit a record high of $69,000 in November.
Meantime, ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, sank nearly 10% to trade around $2,400.
The losses came on the heels of a Thursday dip in the stock market. Cryptocurrencies and traditional stocks have been falling in tandem this month, with investors concerned about how anticipated Federal Reserve interest-rate increases will affect the market.
A common investment case for bitcoin is that it serves as a hedge against rising inflation as a result of government stimulus, but analysts are saying the risk is that a more hawkish Fed may take the wind out of the crypto market’s sails.
There’s also concern U.S. regulators will further crack down on digital currencies.
Russia’s central bank proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies earlier in the week. Officials argued it posed threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing and its monetary policy sovereignty. U.S. authorities have also been clamping down on certain aspects of the market.
–CNBC’s Weizhen Tan contributed to this report.